An experimental realization of an unstrained, planar diffusion flame

D. Lo Jacono, P. Papas, M. Matalon, P. A. Monkewitz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A unique burner was constructed to experimentally realize a one-dimensional unstrained planar nonpremixed flame, previously considered only in idealized theoretical models. One reactant, the fuel mixture in the current experiments, is supplied through a porous plug at the bottom of the combustion chamber and flows vertically up towards the horizontal flame. The crux of the design is the introduction of the oxidizer from above in such a way that its diffusion against the upward product flow is essentially one-dimensional, i.e., uniform over the burner cross-section. This feature was implemented by introducing the oxidizer into the burner chamber from the top through an array of 625 closely spaced hypodermic needles, and allowing the hot products to escape vertically up through the space between the needles. Due to the injection of oxidizer through discrete tubes, a three-dimensional ''injection layer'' exists below the exit plane of the oxidizer supply tubes. Experimental evidence suggests that this layer is thin and that oxidizer is supplied to the flame by 1-D counterdiffusion, producing a nearly unstrained flame. To characterize the burner, flame position measurements were conducted for different compositions and flowrates of H2-CO2 and O2-CO2 mixtures. The measured flame locations are compared to an idealized one-dimensional model in which only diffusion of oxidizer against the product flow is considered. The potential of the new burner is demonstrated by a study of cellular structures forming near the extinction limit. Consistent with previous investigations, cellular instabilities are shown to become more prevalent as the initial mixture strength and/or the Damköhler number are decreased. As the extinction limit is approached, the number of cells was observed to decrease progressively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event30th International Symposium on Combustion - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2004Jul 30 2004


  • Cellular instabilities
  • Counterdiffusion burner
  • Unstrained planar diffusion flame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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